Mama tried squeezing the aints outta me
Said ain’t nobody gon take you serious
You speak like Underground Railroad
Said I raised you to be proud and pontificatin
Not shuckin and jivin
And I responded with a mountain of a shrug
That sounded like yes ma’am when my lips opened
My aints ain’t welcome in my house
Cus mama ain’t finna have my aints slippin out
Around the apricot masses
Have em thinkin
We hood rich when we really suburban poor
Have em thinkin
My tongue outta shape when it really be doin aerobics
Ain’t gon be no aints even if they gotta be lynched from my throat
Flogged from my vocabulary
In front of my whole family
It’s called teaching a lesson
But the aints that had to escape from my throat
Got caught and sold
To the same ones I was told
I couldn’t have ain’t around
Now they got ain’t brewin up on the stove
Got ain’t painted on they front porch
Got ain’t all in they interior
Bring ain’t with them to school
They pound my shoulder with the index of their hands
Like “ain’t you heard?
Aints that new groove –
Ain’t what we got hot?
Ain’t we who all the new aints belong too?”
Ain’t I nod in hesitant approval?
Ain’t that what I’m sposed to do?
Joshua Everett is from Leeds, Alabama. His writing ranges in topics from love to racism to awkwardly stumbling through young adulthood. Music has strong influences on his writing, especially hip-hop, jazz, and soul. He seeks to infuse these distinct African-American art forms to make work that people can really feel. He currently works as a community organizer in Jacksonville, Florida with Interfaith Coalition for Action Reconciliation and Empowerment (I.C.A.R.E).